Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Arthur Millman


The role of humor in promoting a climate of creativity in organizations has been the focus of this synthesis. Developing a program to add humor to an organization's culture can open up and encourage people's creativity. In this environment of creativity, effective problem solving can occur and thus lead to needed positive change. This paper explores lay and scholarly research findings on the role of humor in the workplace. There exists both anecdotal and empirical evidence to support the theory of humor's ability to be a tool for creative problem solving and stress reduction, as well as humor's positive effect in the workplace in dealing with management and leadership issues. To obtain a perspective that was not included in the research undertaken for this work, I also interviewed two very different leaders who successfully use humor every day in their organizations. This information corroborates research findings cited in this paper. However, as referenced in the prologue and then fully explained in chapter four, due to a tragedy in my life, I took a new direction for my study of humor, turning primarily to humor as a means of coping with loss. This synthesis now represents the beginning of a new direction for my life. Using skills acquired in the Critical and Creative Thinking Program I will use the power of gentle humor to develop a support group and workshops for families dealing with tragic loss in their lives. My eagerness to continue my work on this subject, especially meeting firsthand with groundbreakers and current practitioners in the field, does not preclude the desire to return to my original work on humor in the workplace at some time as well.


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